New Shirt alert – we’ve seen tons of them over the years that say, I know Bender…new ones are going to say I Really Know Bender. Rob ‘Bender’ Parks joins us from Alabama with some history about rockcrawling and the Tin Benders. There are times when you think truth is stranger than fiction, there are some moments in this episode that are going to surprise you.
We really appreciate you listening to Conversations with Big Rich, be sure to Subscribe or Follow at your favorite podcast player
6:10 – He talked a lot faster than he rode
10:49 – Working for free, wrecking cars and buying new ones
14:48 – A million live viewers on Truck Night
20:24 – You can’t afford to go racing…nobody can
29:24 – Why do exo’s have to be so ugly?
46:02 – The definition of family, much love to the Tin Benders
Big Rich Klein: 1:47
Let’s talk. Let’s talk early. Early history, probably before wheeling or a driver’s license. And I know that you spent a lot of time in Ridgecrest. Is that where you grew up?
Rob ‘Bender’ Park: 1:58
No, I was actually born in South Dakota, and then my dad was in the Air Force. So then we moved. We moved down to L. A. And then, uh, you, Morro Bay or Vandenberg area. But then, uh, at sea, Really? Then about five or so we moved into the San Joaquin Valley. My grandparents lived in Chowchilla. A lot of people don’t know where that is. Between Merced and Fresno Little Town, like 4000 people, the little farming community was there like my grandparents were there, so I spent a lot of time my grandparents and my my parents until, uh, but seven. I don’t know how deep you want to get Rich, but at seven. So we could we spend a lot of time, you know? But my dad and grandfather both raced My grandpa raced stock cars, he’d race motorcycles, back then it was kind of a hare and hound, he was on a Harley, but it’s kind of cool. We got pictures of Grandpa standing on the seat, riding up and down the the street on the seat of his Harley off. You know, that’s pretty cool. And then Krusty used to race, he actually raced when we lived in the San Joaquin Valley. He would go to Ridgecrest long before we even knew we were gonna move there and he would race desert racing on this old Hodaka. This just clapped out bike that he would look funny. It looked like he was wearing a painter suit, but Krusty was racing motorcycles and a little bit of roundy-round dirt stuff, too. But so we were always, you know, messing around and banging around in a shop and stuff. Then the rough part of the childhood about seven. Krusty got in trouble. Big Mom and Dad split up. She was misguided, but, you know, drug abuse and things. And then, ah, uh, Krusty went to jail. He was, and us kids went to foster homes. I had three sisters, Shelly, Julie and Tammy, my youngest in that age, Shelly, oldest, Julie middle, and Sister Tammy. We all went to temporary foster homes from on the age of 7 to 12. So it was. It was quite a few years of bouncing around because it was temporary because my mom would get custody and then the state would take us back because she’s messed up. And then so we bounced around quite a bit. It was pretty rough, pretty rough time. But then my, my grandparents, Krusty’s, my dad’s grandparents or his parents got custody of us. READ MORE